Considering migration from Adobe Campaign Classic to Standard?

This is a request we at Helium have commonly received from multiple clients during last 6 months. Should we move from Campaign Classic to Standard? What are the benefits and risks? What should be our deciding criteria? How long before we have to move? Do we miss on existing capabilities or gain new ones? What should be our transition plan including internal enablement? How complex is the migration project?

The quick answer is ‘Yes, you should migrate to Standard’ unless you are a frequent visitor and fan of Classic dark alleys, plus Standard is where Adobe is planning more exciting stuff. The real answer is that it is a major decision with long term impacts so needs some due diligence. We have provided below a basic approach that should help you get started with planning and building a business case for this initiative. But first, let’s start with some basic definitions.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is a platform that marketers use to plan, coordinate, manage and measure all their marketing campaigns, both online and offline. It is the process of using tools and technology to automate repetitive marketing tasks, track/measure campaign performance, improve productivity and drive efficiency by minimizing manual actions.

How Adobe helps drive marketing automation with Adobe Campaign?

Adobe Campaign is a set of marketing automation solutions that help you personalize and deliver campaigns across all your online and offline channels. Adobe Campaign connects your online and off-line marketing to improve speed, efficiency, personalisation and reporting by integrating with other powerful technologies from Adobe Experience Cloud and Creative Cloud.

What are the different versions of Adobe Campaign?

Factors considered for migrating from ACC to ACS

Now that we are clear with the basics, here is the plan.

You should focus on three main factors while planning migration from Campaign Classic to Standard.

Product Feature Comparison

This is probably the most important and difficult part of the assessment process. If you have a huge legacy of schemas, workflows, templates and custom codes which you only inherited recently and are not across why they even exist, I would highly recommend a quick review of the existing set up for relevance and efficiency. I have seen clients with 1000+ email templates, 100+ schemas, custom codes and workflows and also seen a review process informing that 50% of the schemas are redundant so need not be migrated or maintained in future. Investing in review to remove redundant pieces from your legacy set up will help reduce the migration cost and new set up should be be more efficient. Also, it will inform if there is a unique Classic feature like offer management or call centre that is essential for your business but not available in Standard, so you can plan for an alternate solution or ask Adobe if that is on Standard product roadmap.

For easy reference, below are some unique features for both Classic and Standard.

Business Benefits

In addition to the feature comparison, there are potential business benefits with migrating to Standard as below

Execution speed




Cost Comparison

While Classic to Standard migration may seem like a huge cost to the business, if we consider the TCO, it generally turns out to be cheaper once it has been operationalised.

Platform License Cost: Most probably Adobe will not take a license cut but since Standard is typically cheaper than Classic, you can negotiate more features or higher quota of profiles in the same price

Maintenance and Support: Maintenance cost in ACS is typically 50% lower than ACC. The cost involved in supporting the upgrades in ACC can be avoided as ACS is hosted by Adobe. Adobe Campaign Standard instances are upgraded with every new release. No action is required to upgrade. Internal team can be easily empowered to resolve most of the regular issues on their own with minimal technical knowledge

Training/ hiring cost: ACS is much easier tool to learn and operationalise compared to Classic. So, you need not hire a premium, highly skilled resource for your marketing automation work. We have seen new to Adobe (but smart) internal operators pick up Standard with on-the-job coaching from Helium experts, and internal team is comfortably running and operating outbound campaigns with finesse in 3 to 6 months.

Clean up project cost: As said earlier, if you have a legacy set up with issues, you probably need to invest in some audit and clean-up work anyway. You can save this clean-up cost by getting a fresh start with Standard.

If you need support with your Campaign migration decision making or examples of how other companies are planning this, reach out to Helium at

p: +61 4 0404 1227